Called Back Onstage: Dramaturgic Analysis, Domestic Social Robots, and Privacy

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I argue that social robots installed inside homes produce a novel privacy problem when they invite their users to engage with them. To build my case, I introduce relevant concepts from Erving Goffman’s theory of Dramaturgic Analysis to interpret human-robot interactions. Following Goffman, I posit that we pre-reflectively adjust our behavior to communal expectations and perform as characters when interacting with other people in public. We tend to step into character when we encounter familiar social situations, which, I argue, includes those created by robots that mimic human social behavior. Our homes, ideally, enable us to set aside the characters we play in public to pursue private tasks associated with our well-being, autonomy, and intimate relationships. As such, when domestic social robots elicit social responses from users, they may rob users of time they could otherwise dedicate to valuable private activities—an issue I categorize as a privacy problem.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Robots in Social Institutions - Proceedings of Robophilosophy 2022
EditorsRaul Hakli, Pekka Mäkelä, Johanna Seib
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-64368-375-1
ISBN (Print)978-1-64368-374-4
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameFrontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications
ISSN (Print)0922-6389

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


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